Article abstract

Introduction: the link between diabetes mellitus and hepatitis B and C Virus infections has not yet been studied in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a country where diabetes mellitus is a growing disease and the prevalence of hepatitis B and C viruses infections is high. The aim of this study was to determine the seroprevalence of these viruses in diabetic patients.


Methods: we conducted a descriptive cross-sectional study in diabetic subjects attending Kisangani University Clinics and General Hospitals of Kisangani City as well as the Diabetics Association of Oriental Province. The control group consisted of volunteer blood donors recruited from the Kisangani Provincial Blood Transfusion Center. Blood glucose was measured with the spectrophotometer; for hepatitis B and hepatitis C viruses serology, we used rapid test kits (Determine TM® HBsAg and Hexagon® HCV test) and ELISA if seropositivity by rapid tests. The analysis was done by SPSS software.


Results: seroprevalence of hepatitis C virus in diabetics was 24.8% compared to 1.9% in volunteer blood donors (p = 0.0000); that of hepatitis B virus was 3.4% versus 3.5% in volunteer blood donors (p = 0.906). Hepatitis C virus infection was more common in type 2 diabetics (p = 0.006) and significantly associated with age of diabetic patients (p = 0.002).


Conclusion: the seroprevalence of hepatitis C virus and not hepatitis B virus infection is significantly high in diabetic subjects, particularly type 2 diabetics, in the Democratic Republic of Congo and suggests systematic screening for this infection in any diabetic patient.